Kid-friendly Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Recipe: Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

by Erin Fletter
Photo by LookerStudio/Shutterstock.com
prep time
20 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Our (awesome) Chef Angel told me that the kids in his Sticky Fingers Cooking classes requested a brownie recipe. Should I be at all surprised? Perhaps the most factual fact of all facts is that every child loves brownies. A few years ago, this very same Chef Angel introduced me to the wonders of baking with a bean purée. Yes. Beans! So the secret ingredient for our Sticky Fingers Cooking Kids is black beans! I'm sure you're thinking, "What? Black beans and brownies?" Did I mention that they are vegan and gluten-free, too? Have I lost you already? But trust me (and Chef Angel), you don't taste them! These black bean brownies are healthy brownies that do not taste healthy, and I can say that with assurance. I have tested this recipe on loads of kids that only like "normal" desserts. 

The recipe delivers deliciously dense, melt-in-your-mouth, fudge-textured brownies. Never mind that they're loaded with fiber, omega-3s, and tons of other good-for-you ingredients. These brownies are also ridiculously simple to make. They require a handful of ingredients you're likely to have in your kitchen now, a food processor (or blender), and a muffin pan. Does cleaning up get any easier than that? Plus, frozen yogurt made in a bag is a winning recipe—almost too much fun for kids to make and a perfect pair with the brownies! 

I'm now totally enamored with the use of a bean batter. It really works, without even a hint of beany flavor. My head is spinning with all sorts of thoughts about how I might use beans in future Sticky Fingers Cooking recipe adventures. Thanks, Chef Angel.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • fold :

    to gently and slowly mix a light ingredient into a heavier ingredient so as not to lose air and to keep the mixture tender, such as incorporating whipped egg whites into a cake batter or folding blueberries into pancake batter; folding is a gentler action than mixing or whisking.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • pulse :

    to process just short of a purée in smooth, rhythmic bursts of power with a blender.

  • purée :

    to blend, grind, or mash food until it is thick, smooth, and closer to a liquid.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Can opener
  • Blender or food processor
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spatula
scale
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Ingredients

Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

  • 1 15-oz can of black beans (1 1/2 C), rinsed and drained well
  • 4 T cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 C quick oats **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub certified gluten-free quick oats)**
  • 1/2 C pure maple syrup/honey/sugar/agave nectar
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil + more for greasing pan
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 or 2 T water, if needed to thin batter
  • 1/2 C to 2/3 C chocolate chips **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob chips + for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Cocoa/Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder and carob chips for chocolate chips.

Gluten/Wheat: Substitute certified gluten-free quick-cooking oats. Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. 

Dairy/Nut/Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.

Instructions

Chocolaty Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

1.
preheat + drain

Adults, preheat your oven to 350 F. Pre-grease your muffin pan with oil and set to the side. Have kids open up 1 can of black beans, drain and rinse them well, and measure 1 1/2 cups.

2.
measure + add

Get out your blender or food processor and have your kids measure and pour directly into it 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Next, have kids add the 1 1/2 cups of black beans to the rest of the ingredients.

3.
blend + blend + blend some more

Have kids take turns blending about 3 to 5 minutes—scraping down sides as needed. Sing the bean song (see below) if you really want to get your kids going! You want the batter to be very, very smooth (there should not be any whole black beans or oats in the batter). If the batter appears too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.

4.
fold + pour

Have kids fold an additional 1/2 to 2/3 cups of chocolate chips into the brownie batter until combined (and pop a few in your mouths!). Then, pour the batter into your prepared muffin pan and sprinkle some extra chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies!

5.
bake + cool

Bake for 25 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 30 minutes. The brownies will be very tender, so remove gently with a fork. They may fall apart, but it's okay. The insides are supposed to be very fudgy, so it's all right if they seem 'too' moist—that's the point. Plus, they're vegan (no raw eggs), so it doesn't really matter. Now top with Kid-Made Banana Frozen Yogurt (see recipe)! If the brownies are super, duper crumbly, you can also make your sundaes with the frozen yogurt on the bottom and bits of brownie on top! Yum!

6.
have fun + song

Beans, beans, the musical fruit, The more you eat, the more you toot, The more you toot, the better you feel, So we eat beans at every meal!

Surprise Ingredient: Beans!

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Photo by Steven Giles/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m a Bean!

"Hey! How've you bean … I mean, been? My name is Cannellini, and I'm a white bean! We beans go back a long, long time. A couple of my cousins are the Navy bean and the Great Northern bean. You can add us to soups, stews, and chili, or eat us all by ourselves! We sometimes cause tummies to inflate (you know, get gassy?), but soaking, draining, and rinsing dried beans really well might help prevent that from happening. Did you know that Senate Bean Soup is on the menu at the US Senate's Dirksen Café every single day?! I'm inflating with pride just thinking about that!"

History

  • Globally, there are 13,000 known varieties of beans. They include the white bean, like the Italian Cannelini, Great Northern, and Navy Bean; the black turtle bean (usually shortened to black bean); and the pinto bean. What kind of beans are you using today?
  • Beans were one of the first foods gathered, according to archaeologists. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors used beans as food tens of thousands of years ago. They were grown around 7,000 years ago in the Middle East. 
  • In ancient Greece, public officials were elected if they picked the single white bean from a bunch of black beans. 
  • In the 15th century, Spanish explorers brought beans to Europe when they returned from voyages to the New World. Then, Spanish and Portuguese traders took them to Africa and Asia to sell. 
  • Beans are now prevalent worldwide, primarily due to their use as an inexpensive, plant-based protein.
  • Today, the largest commercial producers of common dried beans are India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and the United States. 
  • North Dakota grows forty percent of the beans in the US, more than any other state!
  • Brazil grows the most beans in the world. 
  • In Nicaragua, newlyweds are given a bowl of beans for good luck.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Did you know: Beans are technically a fruit! 
  • Beans are legumes, so they have seeds that dry in the seed pod. Other legumes include lentils, peas, peanuts, and soybeans.
  • Beans plants leave the soil better and healthier than before they were planted. Most plants deplete the soil, but not beans. This is because they have nodules on their roots that add nitrogen, which the soil needs. 
  • The world's tallest bean plant was over 45 feet tall! That's the equivalent of three average-sized giraffes stacked on top of one another. The plant was grown in the USA in 2003.
  • The word "bean" was first used before the 12th century. It comes from the Old English "bēan," from the Proto-Germanic "bauno," and is related to the Dutch "boon" and German "Bohne."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Beans are harvested at full maturity when their pod reaches about six inches long, and the leaves turn brown and fall off about 75 days after the beans are planted.
  • When harvested, the shells are broken open, and the beans are collected as long as they are dry. If they're not thoroughly dried, they can be hung up to finish drying before they're popped from their shells. 
  • We can't eat raw, uncooked beans. Why? Because beans have something called lectins that are poisonous, and the only way to remove most of these lectins is to cook the beans.
  • If you're using dried beans, soak them before cooking to remove "antinutrients," compounds that block the absorption of nutrients. 
  • Dried beans are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins; both canned and dried beans are available throughout the year. 
  • Canned beans can stay fresh for years! 
  • Combine the creamy texture of beans with a whole grain such as brown rice, and you have a virtually fat-free high-quality protein meal. 
  • Beans are made into burgers, dips, brownies, cakes, dips, fudge, muffins, pies, and drinks (coffee and cocoa beans). They can also be used in jewelry, toys, and musical instruments. "Bean bag chairs" are made with polystyrene "beans," but the small bean bags for play are sometimes made with real dried beans. 

Nutrition

  • Beans are complex carbohydrates and high in fiber, which keeps our digestion strong and smooth and our tummies happy. 
  • Beans are excellent sources of iron, magnesium, and potassium. The body needs these minerals to grow, develop, and stay healthy.
  • Beans supply several B vitamins to our diet, especially folate (B-9). These vitamins contribute to healthy brain function, formation of red blood cells, increased energy, and decreased cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.  
  • The fiber and protein in beans are good for stabilizing blood sugar. They are popular with vegans and vegetarians because they replace some of the nutrients found in meat.

Beany Expressions:

  • Bean counter = an accountant
  • Bean feast = a party with food and drink
  • Bean pole = describing someone tall and thin
  • Cool beans = when something is cool
  • It doesn't amount to a hill of beans = when something doesn't add up to much
  • Full of beans = full of energy, enthusiasm
  • ​Hasn't got a bean = doesn't have any money
  • Has-been = once was something, maybe famous or rich, and now those days are gone
  • Not worth a bean = not worth anything
  • ​Spill the beans = dish the dirt, tell the truth

History of Brownies!

Photo by Saveurs Secretes
  • The brownie, one of our favorite desserts, was created in the United States. 
  • Numerous legends surround the origin of the brownie. One tale is of a housewife in Bangor, Maine, who forgot to add baking powder while making a chocolate cake. So when her cake didn't rise properly, instead of tossing it out, she cut and served the flat pieces. The most accepted story, though, is that the brownie was created in 1893 by a chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, at the request of the owner's wife for a cake-like dessert that could be part of a boxed lunch for ladies attending an exposition, or world's fair, in the city. 
  • The first printed version of a brownie dessert was in an 1896 cookbook by Fannie Farmer, although it used molasses, not cocoa, in the recipe. A chocolate brownie recipe first appeared in a cookbook in 1904.
  • There are thousands of brownie recipes, both "cake" and "fudge" types. Either type is perfectly correct—and delicious. Of course, the brownie probably got its name from its chocolate brown color, but there is also a light-colored version without cocoa called a "blondie."

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/Shutterstock.com (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

Lettuce Joke Around

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?"

"Bean."

"Bean who?"

"It’s Bean a while since I last had a brownie!"

The Yolk's On You

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

The Yolk's On You

What kinds of beans can’t grow in a garden? 

Jelly Beans!

THYME for a Laugh

What bean is the most intelligent? 

The Human Bean!

That's Berry Funny

What is a volcano’s favorite type of dessert? 

A lava brownie!

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